New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has resigned, a mere three hours after an article in The New Yorker brought to light accusations of physical abuse from four women that he was intimately involved with. According to correspondence between Coindesk and the New York Attorney General’s office, a probe that Eric Schneiderman launched to investigate 13 different cryptocurrency exchanges continues despite his resignation.
The Virtual Markets Integrity Initiative was launched by the ex-Attorney General on 17 April 2018, only a few weeks before his resignation. It sent official letters from the New York Attorney General’s office requesting information from 13 cryptocurrency exchanges including (1) Coinbase, Inc. (GDAX); (2) Gemini Trust Company; (3) bitFlyer USA, Inc.; (4) iFinex Inc. (Bitfinex); (5) Bitstamp USA Inc.; (6) Payward, Inc. (Kraken); (7) Bittrex, Inc.; (8) Circle Internet Financial Limited (Poloniex LLC); (9) Binance Limited; (10) Elite Way Developments LLP (Tidex.com); (11) Gate Technology Incorporated (Gate.io); (12) itBit Trust Company; and (13) Huobi Global Limited (Huobi.Pro).
Information requested fell into six categories including ownership and control, basic operations and fees, trading policies and procedures, outages and other suspensions of trading, internal controls, and privacy and money laundering. This probe intends to increase transparency and to provide traders and investors with the information they need to assess the fairness, security, and integrity of cryptocurrency exchanges.
The cryptocurrency exchanges in question were required to submit information by 1 May 2018, and most of them seemed open to complying despite the short two-week deadline. At least one exchange, Kraken, refused to send any information to the New York Attorney General’s office. The CEO of Kraken, Jesse Powel, said he was happy that Kraken got out of the New York market in 2015 when the BitLicense was enacted so he did not have to deal with this inquiry.
The New York BitLicense is known as being one of the harshest cryptocurrency laws in existence, effectively outlawing all Bitcoin dealers and cryptocurrency exchanges who don’t have the license, which requires significant legal costs. So far, since the law was enacted in 2015, only four companies have been granted the BitLicense.
New York started its reputation of being extremely harsh on cryptocurrency activity with the BitLicense and continues it with the Virtual Markets Integrity Initiative, and it is appears this anti-crypto policy will continue regardless of the resignation of its attorney general.
Schneiderman had been an avid proponent of the #MeToo movement where women that have been abused by wealthy and powerful men have been going to the media for justice. He himself recently issued a lawsuit against famous film producer Harvey Weinstein for sexual assault.
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